The bowlers couldn’t deliver when India needed a wicket to win the inaugural ODI, but there’s no denying the fact that a star-studded batting line-up needs to show more accountability.
The last time India played a bilateral series in Bangladesh was in 2015 when under Mahendra Singh Dhoni the team lost the three-game series 1-2 and the only victory came in the dead third.
History could repeat itself at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium if spinners Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraj can once again keep India’s batters under wraps between overs 11-40.
This was the real struggle period for all Indian batters except KL Rahul (73 on 70 balls) who was the best player featured in the opening game.
Although there are still 10 months to go until the ODI World Cup, it is still unclear what exactly the Indian team’s approach will be.
Talks around adopting a “fearless approach” have been going on for some time, but its implementation has been only sporadic. Sometimes adapting to conditions and reacting to situations took on more importance.
Mirpur’s track wasn’t exactly a batting beauty, but it didn’t deserve a score of 186 either.
Equally puzzling was the former judging committee’s decision to rest both Shubman Gill and Sanju Samson for this series.
The logic given by former selectors chairman Chetan Sharma was that due to a short turnover from New Zealand, they chose a new group of players for the series.
Gill was not part of the T20 World Cup nor did he play the T20 series in New Zealand (he was in the squad though) and so leaving him out was disconcerting.
One of the problems with top Indian players is that they pick up the pace of execution but at the same time consume a lot more point deliveries than they should.
In the game against Bangladesh, point balls worth more than 25 overs were consumed even though they hit for less than 42 overs.
If the eight overs they couldn’t beat are taken into account, the team failed to score nearly 200 balls.
In modern cricket, when England change the rules of engagement in any format, the Indian team takes one step forward and four steps back.
The idea of passing the gloves to KL Rahul It wasn’t to increase the flexibility of the squad, but to ensure that Rahul and Dhawan could be integrated into the same playing XI, ahead of the World Cup.
Samson, one of the most flamboyant players, was not even chosen for this series and Ishan Kishan, who scored a 93 in his last ODI series, despite being a specialist goalkeeper-beater, was put on the bench.
It is still unclear how the team management plans to test youngsters Rajat Patidar and Rahul Tripathi before narrowing the roster down to 18-20.
The tough calls have yet to be taken by coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma and it doesn’t look like they will be taken anytime soon.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain and wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Shahbaz AhmedAxar Patel, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Sen, Shardul Thakur, Omran MalikWashington Sundar, Rahul Tripathi, Rajat Patidiar
Bangladesh: Litton Kumer Das, Anamul Hague Bijoy, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain, Yasir All Chowdhury, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin AhmedHasan Mahmud, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Nasum Ahmed, Mahmud Ullah, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Quazi Nurul Hasan Sohan, Shoriful Islam
(With PTI entries)